Recently my nervous system has been invaded with an overdose of the Murrie Grapevine. Forget modern technology there is no transmission faster, easier to upload, download or zip across the planet like the black grapevine. Murrie, koorie, noogar grapevine whatever you wanna call it. It’s faster than speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive alright. It can knock you down then reverse back over you.
My family and friends like to talk and yarn at the best of times, but there are sometimes when a tsunami of gossip rolls into your private idaho and nearly drowns you. Just when life feels peaceful, nice and quiet. When it’s resembling some form of normality/sanity (whatever the hell that is) my phone rings………..‘ere sista, whichway what you doin’?
If I know beforehand that someone is going to call me, I can usually prepare myself with a comfy seat and a cuppa. Depending on the person ringing though, that can easily transform from a cuppa, to a glass of red wine, to a bottle…….‘Nothing. Why what’s up?’ (Dumb question!) Aaaaaand off they go. Thank god I don’t smoke. I’d have lung cancer.
The velocity impact at which these grapevines can hits you is likened to natural disasters. It doesn’t matter how much in advance you prepare for them, there is nothing you can do. You can’t escape. All you can do is try to get out of the way. Nothing can stop nature, and nothing can stop the Murrie Grapevine.
They also consist of volume impact ie a diverse scale of decibel levels at which they are delivered, invade your ear drums and reverberate inside your head.
Just a chirpy lovely little conversation that happens on far too rare an occasion. It makes you smile, appreciate and miss that person who called. (Impact and volume level low)
Suddenly like a flock of Cockatoos that fly in from the north invading your serenity, you get bombarded with calls from family, friends and community. This can happen within a 24 hour period, or drag on for days. Weeks and months even. The hysteria and mayhem gets you all confused and you keep answering the phone to different versions of the same story. Your home and mobile phones ring in unison sending you slowly insane. Information gets exaggerated, bits get added. Chinese whispers can’t hold a candle to the black grapevine. If you’re organised enough you can arrange a Telstra 3, 4 or 5 Way Chat. You get ear bashed to death. (Impact and volume level very high)
That loooooong 2, 3, 4 hour drawn out yarn where you hardly ever get a chance to participate. You just listen. It goes on and on and on (a bit like my blogs). Your only input is the constant repetition of one word answers in recognition of the fact that you are still on the line……Ah Ha….Yep…True!…Nah…Ok….True…Really….No way….Good go….Deadly….Solid….Ok. It’s boring, draining, tiring, and verges on nauseating. Then just before you get the urge to poke yourself in the eye with a blunt object to relieve the pain, the conversation ends…..See ya. You hang up relieved and sounding like a bloody crow…’Faaaaaaarrrrrrrk!!! `(Impact and volume level monotone)
My favourite. When you are feeling really shitty you always have one crazy, psycho, looney but totally lovable and adorable relative or friend that will call you and leave you in tears. This call gives you a stich. You laugh your lungs out, slap you thigh so hard that you fall off your chair and roll around on the floor. The conversation is only interrupted by a loo break because you think you might wet you pants. Your Kookaburra cackle is so loud the neighbours hear you and think about committing you themselves. (Impact and volume level loud)
I could go on and on with more categories and subcategories like the Liar Bird, the Magpie, the Emu etc, etc…but combine all of this chaos with interpretations of stories translated via Aboriginal English and you can end up with one serious psychological condition.
The point is that I don't think my community couldn’t survive without this form of communication and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just when I feel like I have totally lost it, wanna poke myself in the eye and commit myself, I am brought back to the brink of sanity. Someone will call me with an hilarious, absurd, and classic story that makes my face and belly ache. I love my mob to death.
Welcome to my Womba World